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Wall Street Banks Already Breaking Law Again, Violating Settlements With Prosecutors

By: Thursday October 30, 2014 8:00 am

Brace yourself for an epic shock – Wall Street is breaking the law again. After a couple of years of questionable compliance with legal settlements the banksters are now straight up violating the terms of the deals prosecutors and regulators struck as an alternative to criminal charges. Apparently, as has been argued by everyone not dim or bought, settlements do not work to stop criminal behavior. Something prosecutors seem genuinely surprised by as they are having to reopen old settlements because the banks are back to their old tricks.

If nothing else it should be entertaining to watch prosecutors excrete yet another ridiculous explanation for why they will not be bringing criminals charges against the rich and powerful. Though the Too Big To Jail cover story is going to be hard to top in terms of comedic value.

Prosecutors in Washington and Manhattan have reopened an investigation into Standard Chartered, the big British bank that reached a settlement in 2012 over accusations that it transferred billions of dollars for Iran and other nations blacklisted by the United States, according to the lawyers briefed on the cases. The prosecutors are questioning whether Standard Chartered, which has a large operation in New York, failed to disclose the extent of its wrongdoing to the government, imperiling the bank’s earlier settlement…

As reported earlier by The New York Times, prosecutors are also threatening to tear up deals with banks like Barclays and UBS that were accused of manipulating interest rates, pointing to evidence that the same banks also manipulated foreign currencies, a violation of the interest rate settlements. The prosecutors and banks have agreed to extend probationary periods that would have otherwise expired this year.

Would any other group of criminals get this kind of treatment? These people have been caught breaking the terms of a deal they agreed to after breaking the law. This corruption is hitting new levels of absurdity every day.

At this point it is rather obvious that trying to rein in Wall Street through the legislative process is futile. Wall Street is not only breaking laws already on the books, they are breaking those laws even after being caught doing so. Maybe prosecutors should just say Wall Street is above the law and end the charade.

Israeli Official Hits Back At US After “Chickenshit” Comment, Sweden Recognizes Palestine As State

By: Thursday October 30, 2014 5:48 am

So much for cooler heads prevailing. In response to a story where an anonymous Obama Administration official called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “chickenshit”, an Israeli official has gone on the record to trash the United States under President Obama. Moshe Feiglin, one of the Deputy Speakers of the Knesset and head of the Manhigut Yehudit faction of the ruling Likud Party, said if President Obama did not “distance himself” from the negative comment about Netanyahu the US will become a third world country.

Feiglin represents the ascendent right wing of Israeli politics that is quickly gaining power more and more power. The real threat to Netanyahu’s leadership is from his right flank.

I fundamentally disagree with PM Netanyahu on many issues – including those issues over which the US has criticized the PM in the past. But if America does not officially distance itself from yesterday’s personal attack against Prime Minister Netanyahu (who represents all the citizens of Israel) we can conclude that under Obama, the US has deteriorated to the cultural and essential level of a third world country. Its future is already behind it.

While there is no doubt that even a slight unraveling of the US-Israeli relationship should rank as a major concern among Israeli policymakers, they may have bigger problems at the moment.

The Swedish government has now recognized the state of Palestine. The Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallstrom, told reporters that Palestine qualified as a state under international law because “There is a territory, a people and government.” The EU as a governing body is still delaying any such recognition though Sweden’s unilateral move may expedite the process.

Sweden’s recognition of Palestine comes as Israel faces international condemnation after it announced it would be building 1,000 housing units in the Arab section of Jerusalem. Israel is also facing allegations of war crimes for its latest incursion into Gaza that included attacks on UN and international aid facilities. Sweden’s announcement could be the beginning of a larger movement within the international system to recognize Palestinian statehood so that Israel can be held accountable for taking land and launching military attacks under the framework of violating the rights of another state. That framework could make it easier to subject Israel to sanctions to incentive better behavior towards the Palestinians.

The Roundup for October 29th, 2014

By: Wednesday October 29, 2014 3:42 pm

It’s a Wednesday today folks and it’s been 85 years since “Black Tuesday.

International Politics

Overall

- The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting regarding Israeli settlements in east Jerusalem

- After an anonymous U.S. official criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “chickenshit prime minister,” Netanyahu responded by saying he was under attack for “defending Israel”

Middle East

- Journalist Max Blumenthal joins The Real News to provide a perspective of the situation of Palestine, the right-wing in Israel and a possible third intifada

- The Islamic State killed 30 Sunni tribesmen in a town in west Iraq with the victims shoved around town before execution

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

While some media outlets focus on the successor to Rob Ford in Toronto, the biggest issue should be the failure of the left to push forth a candidate in the city and win over the working-class.

Surveillance Planet

- Journalist Nathan Fuller reports on how the PayPal14 case will be ending today and how this will be a part of the lives of those involved especially with restitution; I highly recommend this for anyone following the case or wondering what it is about

- Cyber experts believe there will be more cyberattacks in the future as we become more connected as well as more vulnerable

- The FBI wants to extend its surveillance powers to easily enter computers to find hackers. Trevor Timm has more here.

Financial Matters

- Part one of two of investigating the stigma of welfare in Westminister, Md., and where it originates from

- A ProPublica/NPR investigation reports how badly the American Red Cross botched its response for Hurricanes Sandy and Isaac. Here are 10 horrific parts of this story and Zaid Jilani provides a basic overview of it here.

- A new report found most billionaires did not come from the bottom, but really stayed within the higher-income class

- So far this year, Canadian firms spent $15 million lobbying the U.S. government

Labor’s a-Brewing

- Next Tuesday a number of citizens will go to the ballot box to vote on minimum wage referendums. Thankfully, politicians are not involved in this issue.

Politics US

- Pew: Support from Hispanics for Democrats for next week’s election is expected to be lower than the 2010 elections, but support is up for Republicans

- With more voter ID laws being considered across the U.S., the early history of voting reveals how blocking certain folks from voting persists

- Some electronic voting systems in two cities had a glitch where the machines switched the votes cast

We Don’t Need No Education

- Gallup: Forty-four percent of teachers do not view Common Core favorably, although 41 percent do; In addition, teachers generally dislike the evaluations and standardized testing involved

- Teach For America is more interested in protecting its image no matter the cost rather than, well, teaching American children

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

- It was previously mentioned on the Roundup Ebola could cause a failed state in the West African region, but the state itself is weak and a major contributing factor in the spread of the disease

- Glen Ford: “For Moment, the World Embraces the Cuba Model – and Slaps the Empire

- Maine warned a nurse infected with Ebola it will go to court to uphold her quarantine

- Good news on Ebola as the World Health Organization reported a decline in the number of new cases in Liberia

The Second Sex 

- When will we get gender equality in the workplace? According to a report from the World Economic Forum, it may happen by 2095.

- At Columbia University, and elsewhere, there was a major protest against sexual assault with demonstrators carrying mattresses

- Jessica Valenti: “No one can prevent all abortions. You can only eliminate safe abortions

- The woman who was in the viral video of men catcalling her is now facing rape threats

- GamerGate is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of attacks against women online

Planet Earth

- A new report found developing countries were making more progress in terms of renewable energy compared with developed countries, which do very little

- The Weather Channel officially announced climate change is man-made; although for a channel devoted to weather, you would think they would had announced it sooner.

Mixed Bag

- An artist in Denmark displayed blocks of ice melting to provide a statement on global warming to the public

- Pope Francis I said it was possible to believe in both evolution and in creation; Well then…

Break Time

- Night Sky [Taliesin Orchestra]


Daily Beast Misses The Mark On History Of Cory Booker Opposition

By: Wednesday October 29, 2014 11:03 am

With rumors swirling around Trenton and beyond that the hammer of a federal indictment is set to fall on those involved in the Newark Watershed scandal it is not surprising that someone wanted to get ahead of the curve and write a quasi-political obituary on Senator Cory Booker. Firedoglake has already had an Open Public [...]

Obama Administration Official Calls Netanyahu ‘Chickenshit’, Threat To Withdraw Cover At UN In Play

By: Wednesday October 29, 2014 8:09 am

According to Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, the US-Israeli relationship has entered a crisis period. The crisis is marked by distrust and disgust from both officials in the Obama Administration and Netanyahu government. One Obama Administration official reportedly characterized Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as a “chickenshit” leader who is obsessed with staying in power at [...]

Reporter Claims Government Hacked Her Computer And Inserted Evidence To Set Her Up

By: Wednesday October 29, 2014 5:50 am

Sharyl Attkisson, a former reporter with CBS News, claims in a new book that the US government hacked into her computer as well as her phone lines. Attkisson was one of the reporters responsible for the infamous Benghazi story that became the subject of numerous congressional hearings concerning how an American diplomat was killed in [...]

The Roundup for October 28th, 2014

By: Tuesday October 28, 2014 3:14 pm

It’s Tuesday folks. International Politics Overall – Max Blumenthal: “Samantha Power, Obama’s Atrocity Enabler“; I am sure many, if not all, will agree with Max’s words Middle East – The Iraqi government rejected a plan by the U.S. government to build a military base in the northern Kurdish region – Kurdish forces in Iraq will [...]

Is ‘Lone Wolf Terrorism’ Just Crime?

By: Tuesday October 28, 2014 10:36 am

Recently two separate acts by lone attackers on government workers have been classified as “lone wolf terrorism” by law enforcement and elected officials. First was the shooting in Canada of a soldier by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau who also entered the Canadian Parliament before being shot and killed. Second was a hatchet attack on NYPD officers by [...]

IRS Seizing Funds Without Even Bringing Charges

By: Tuesday October 28, 2014 7:42 am

Yet more unintended consequences from the so-called War on Drugs. According to The New York Times, the IRS has been seizing funds from small businesses and individuals without even presenting a criminal complaint using a draconian law passed to prevent drug money laundering. Under the law the IRS can seize funds that appear to be [...]

Nobel Peace Prize Winners Ask Obama To Release CIA Torture Report

By: Tuesday October 28, 2014 5:43 am

A group of Nobel Peace Prize winners have asked their fellow winner President Barack Obama to finally release the report on the CIA’s torture program. Despite efforts by the CIA to sabotage the report by spying on members of Congress and deleting information from their computers, a report has been completed. Now the White House [...]

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